Big Industry News – Thermo to buy Affy – Illumina launches liquid biopsy startup

ReutersThermo Fisher to buy Affymetrix for $1.3 billion

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc (TMO.N), the world’s largest maker of scientific instruments, said it agreed to buy Affymetrix Inc (AFFX.O) for $1.3 billion in cash, beefing up its genetic analysis products business. Thermo Fisher’s offer of $14 per share represents a rich 52 percent premium to Affymetrix’s Friday close of $9.21. Affymetrix shares were trading at $13.70 after market, while Thermo Fisher was unchanged. Santa Clara, California-based Affymetrix, which had revenue of about $350 million in 2014, makes tools for genomic analysis and genetic testing. Following the acquisition, expected to close by the end of the second quarter, Affymetrix will be integrated into Thermo Fisher’s Life Sciences Solutions Segment. The deal is expected to immediately add to adjusted earnings per share, the company said. (read more…)

ForbesA Single Blood Test For All Cancers? Illumina, Bill Gates And Jeff Bezos Launch Startup To Make It Happen

What if a simple blood test could detect any cancer early, when it was still easy to treat? It sounds like science fiction. But Illumina ILMN -0.61%, the $24 billion (market cap) biotechnology company that has pioneered cheap, efficient sequencing of DNA, says it could be a reality in a few years. It is launching a new startup, GRAIL (because such a test would be a holy grail for cancer doctors), with $100 million in funding. Illumina will hold a majority share. Other backers include Sutter Hill Ventures, ARCH Ventures, Jeff Bezos’ Bezos Expeditions and Bill Gates. The startup could have vast medical, economic and societal implications–if the technology really works. “Everything here is directed at being a pan-cancer test, something that is a universal test,” says Jay Flatley, who has been Illumina’s chief executive for sixteen years and has improved the power of DNA sequencing at a rate that exceeds improvements in microchips over the same period of time. (read more…)

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